What's the meaning of "turning the state of the art to the state of the practice" in the following context:

"We have the resources, the professional experience and the background to deliver turnkey services starting from research and study to the provision of finished products and services and turn the state of the art into the state of the practice."

3 Answers 3


The short answer is that this is marketing gobbledygook, and doesn't really say anything useful at all. State of the art is a well-known idiom, but state of the practice (which basically means "what the business or field is currently doing") is less well known and very jargon-ish, and I would guess that the writer was simply trying for a catchy way to end the sentence.

To venture an interpretation, I would suppose that the writer is saying that this company can take the latest concepts and advances (the state of the art) and help its clients put them into practice (e.g., implement them in the clients' own businesses in a practical and useful manner).


"State of the art" is a well-known idiom which connotes a technology or process that is cutting-edge, but perhaps difficult to apply or accessible only to experts. "State of the practice" suggests that which is commonly done (practiced) in a particular business or profession.

So, the consulting firm you cited is offering to harness advanced technology from recent research and to make it available to their clients, easy to integrate into their products and day-to-day operations. Somewhat bombastic, perhaps, but that's marketing for you.


In a legal context, state-of-the-art is defined differently and means the same as the common meaning of "state-of-the-practice."

  • Almost. "State of the art" is generally interpreted to mean "best practices".
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:20
  • @HotLicks not in a legal context.
    – L23P
    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:21
  • State-of-the-practice indicates that in everyday engineering (in this case ish OPs quote is a bit wordy for the sake of being wordy), this is the best design and manufacturing available. State-of-the-art is the best that can be done (perhaps in a laboratory) and might refer to some experimental new anchors that are not yet being manufactured and put into practice. Hence "state-of-the-practice" is the best that people are actually using in the field on a regular basis however this doesn't hold true in a legal sense where the terminology is interchangeable. Odd I know.
    – L23P
    Apr 25, 2019 at 12:23
  • 1
    We're looking for definitive answers, so please provide references. There are probably better, but even wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_the_art#Legal_importance quotes the EU definition of state-of-the-art for patent law: "[the] state-of-the-art shall be held to comprise everything made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the European patent application", which is referenced to EU law.
    – jimm101
    Apr 25, 2019 at 13:15

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